In Education, too often, we avoid the opportunities to use data to identify the best process or approach for students.
Around 2 to 3 years ago we made a conceded push towards optimising a key goal. The only real goal a tutor, or company should strive for, Maximising Student Performance.
In Interviews that means getting students into Medicine.
In the GAMSAT it means getting the highest scores that we possibly can.
So, in pursuit of that goal we began collecting data about our student performance, which packages they chose, even included all our private students and even analysed the performance of different tutors internally.
Our Interview Course turned out to be better than our mock medical interviews, our private tutoring and everything else we offered because the data said so.
The reason you should choose a company like Fraser’s is we have been teaching students in your position for over 10 years.
We have done and do everything from private tutoring to small groups to workshops and mock interviews, at different price points and duration.
Nothing is NEW to us.
The 3 most important factors in acing your medical school interview and getting into medicine.
1. Your Interview Tutor
This is not surprising, the tutor and tutors that you had in the medical interview training process strongly predicted your performance. It isn’t a matter of practising for your interview with anyone, you have to make sure you find people that have a track record of success.
There is a saying that I really like here.
“Players can’t coach, Coaches can’t play”
Just because someone gets a GAMSAT of 80 or gets into medicine, how does that qualify them as a tutor?
Everyone must start at some point, but the difficulty lies in choosing a great private tutor. Even as a private tutor, how does one go about assessing whether or not their teaching methods are successful. Some students do well, and some do poorly. You never teach enough Interview or GAMSAT students to carefully analyse your own performance.
As a company we’re at an advantage. We can look across our tutors and students, objectively. Identifying the best tutors in the numbers and retain them. That’s what we do at Fraser’s.
Is it savage, slightly maybe, however it means that the team we build are only the tutors that consistently lead to the best student performance.
You CAN hire any tutor, someone that gets into Medicine. I can speak from 5 years’ experience that students too often end up wasting thousands of dollars only to come to me and start again. The general advice here is don’t trust the high scorers, we don't just hire them, so why should you. Go to the people that know, beyond doubt, that their tutors are great. If anything, use the most important tool of all, word of mouth, ask colleagues, look at online reviews and identify which companies are best. If thats us, great, obviously, if it is a different company or tutor thats great too. As long as you have a great tutor you can be sure you'll get into Medicine next year.
2. Interview Course > Mock Interviews Alone
We had a clear cohort in 2016. Some students did the whole course, and some did mock interview only.
90% of the interview course students got in.
60% of the mock interview students only got in.
Everything that comes next is strictly speculation, it is not from the data, as is the focus of this entire piece.
But our anecdotal experience of the mock MMIs is as follows. Students that perform poorly in mock interviews often have deficits in specific areas, maybe public health, rural health or indigenous health issues. Issues such as general communication and presentation are there for all students but those do worse than average often have deeper deficits.
Take a moment,
Imagine being a tutor in that situation.
You've identified a clear deficit.
Now as a tutor, one of the best, where do I direct my students.
The students in the interview course can go to the interview atlas, hours of content and theory on those very issues. Designed specifically to prepare you for all of the different theory. Now, I appreciate that not everyone should, needs or has budget to do a course and there are heaps of great resources out there for free. But when you're spending money on a private tutor or mock interview, why not get great quality resources that match your experience. Going back to the situation, so you can say, go to the Interview Atlas and do the chapter on "Public Health" or any of the other 10 chapters there are.
You can use the trial version for free here, https://academy.frasersgamsat.com.au/courses/interview-atlas-free
When a student is in the mock interviews only, you direct them to Google or other random written resources. We can’t control the way the students learn.
As a result of these findings we decided to exclusively offer our interview courses, not without significant discussion. We realised that many students wouldn’t want to prepare with us, however, with the goal of maximising our students’ performance it is the right decision.
When you see the price for our courses realise there is a reason all the additional resources are mandated. It means you do better, you have a place to go when you need to improve and you have the opportunity to improve.
3. Multiple Tutor Experience
Students that received more than 2 different tutors in their experience did significantly better than those that had 1 or 2 tutors alone.
In most multiple mini interviews you will present to more than 4 different tutors assessing you. Despite the objective criteria, they will have different things that they value. This is where an interview course also shines. From the online resources to the workshop to the mock interviews you receive many different points of view. This helps you culminate all these views to express yourself in the most globally pleasing way, maximising your efforts with any audience.
You also get the opportunity to get scores from many different tutors from different backgrounds.
You can see just how many people you'll meet in th footage from our University of Sydney mock interviews just passed.
Overall, we never force students to do anything.
You can control these 3 factors in your medical interview prep.
At Fraser’s we try to offer value in our free resources, workshops and trust that when students want the best in premedical education they will come to us, either for GAMSAT or Interview training.
We are innovating with a data focused approach to maximising student performance.
Remember, the 3 factors above, try to find the best interview tutor, make sure you have great resources and get multiple tutors to give input in your training. With those factors combined you may reach the success we have with our students.